A good friend of mine, Dick Herron, has a wonderful saying, "Success is a choice ... your choice." He has it pegged.

Have you ever wondered why a competitor of yours -- a competitor who obviously doesn't have your knowledge, abilities, or experience -- is more successful than you? Let me assure you, it has nothing to do with knowledge, abilities, or experience. Having a better mousetrap no longer guarantees that people will beat a path to your door. Today, success goes to the one who has the proper mindset, the better plan, and the better system.

It's just as easy to do business with profitable clients.
In fact, it's easier to do business with profitable clients than it is to do business with unprofitable ones. I'm sure you've heard the saying that it's just as easy to fall in love with a rich person as a poor one; therefore you should fall in love with a rich one. I don't know how factual this is. But in the business world, the theory holds true.

When you decide to do business with your profitable target audience and move away from those that are unprofitable, you gain several advantages. One is that the additional profit offers you the financial wherewithal to build your business. Another is that you have better morale because you are dealing with people who benefit the most, which is usually a more pleasant experience on all levels. Additionally, you have more time because profitable clients often demand less of your time than the unprofitable ones do. Work with more profitable clients as much as possible. You would think this would go without saying, but ....

Profit-building opportunities
Looking for and taking advantage of profit-building opportunities is another characteristic of successful professionals. Many of us miss these opportunities for any of several reasons. Sometimes we just aren't looking for them. Other times we see them and consciously decide not to take advantage of them. Yet other times we opt to spend our time in pursuit of other activities -- those that offer greater comfort or satisfy some other need. Seek out and benefit from profit-building opportunities.

The same thing ... only different
I'm not sure that there is anything in business that bothers me more than when business owners are asked how they are different from their competitors and they answer, "We're not really. We're all pretty much the same." If this is the case, save yourself a lot of sleepless nights and throbbing headaches. Go work for a competitor. After all, if you are the same as your competitors, why do your prospects need you?

Am I being a bit harsh? Not at all. You have to tell your prospect how you benefit them in ways your competitors do not. That's what marketing is all about. That's what attracting more clients is all about. That's what being profitable is all about. You may be in the same industry as your competitors, but you must be meaningfully different.

Deciding to be successful
Deciding to be successful is critical to your success. People who are more successful than you, yet do not have the knowledge or abilities that you possess, probably have the one thing that you do not ... at least not yet -- the mindset that they have every right to be successful. It matters!

Do you believe that everyone is a viable prospect for you? I hope not. It's just not true. It can't be true. Those who specialize are generally more profitable than those who do not.

Being the expert
We all respect experts. They are the people who really know their fields. Being a recognized expert is the result of demonstrating your competence, knowledge, and capabilities. This recognition is often achieved only after you decide to be acknowledged as such. It goes hand-in-hand with specialization.

As you can see, being successful is indeed a choice. You have to consciously make the decision to be successful and follow the proper path to that success. For most of us, there are no shortcuts or get-rich-quick schemes. And I truly believe that is a good thing. Now if I could only get Dick Herron to retire so I could steal his saying.

Author's Bio: 

As a speaker, author and coach, Peter George helps self-employed professionals achieve the success they've been striving for. His highly-acclaimed More Clients More Profits Workbook includes contributions from van Misner, Bob Burg, Susan Roane, Scott Ginsberg & others. Want to start attracting more clients right away? Claim your free copy of 101 Ways to Attract More Clients at =>